Sennheiser is certainly no stranger to the professional audio world. In fact, some companies might see the German audio company as a huge threat because Sennheiser is known for its quality products. But just because the company is so well established doesn’t mean that you should buy the first Sennheiser headphones you see even if it just hits your budget. There might even be a possibility where you are spending more than you should be on a pair of headphones. The Sennheiser HD 598 makes a pretty clear statement on the matter because it is widely considered as one of the best $250 headphones ever made.
About the Sennheiser HD 598
The Sennheiser HD 598 may not be the priciest pair of headphones in Sennheiser’s home audio lineup but it is definitely one of the more popular models even today. That is pretty impressive considering the fact that the Sennheiser HD 598 was announced way back in September 2010. It doesn’t look outdated either because of the unique design choices that Sennheiser made with the HD 598. Some might call it retro while others see it as luxurious but the tan and beige color scheme with wood accents really helped give the Sennheiser HD 598 a personality of its own. It is the kind of headphones you can wear at a first-class flight and it should match all those iPhone 5s and 6 gold owners. There are no other styles available for this particular model but even if you are not a fan of its looks, Sennheiser made the HD 598 for home use anyway.
You should have your smartphone within reach when listening to music though because the cable doesn’t have a built-in mic and lacks any form of physical controls. On the upside, the 10-foot long cable with 6.3mm tip can be detached from the headphones and a 3.5mm headphone plug adapter is included as well. Both of these tips are gold-plated fully completing the premium look and feel of the headphones.
The velour earpads make the Sennheiser HD 598 very comfortable to wear and can stay that way for extended periods. Sennheiser uses plastic as its main material for the rest of the construction but it does make the headphones feel light. Most of the headphones that cost under $250 simply cannot match the HD 598 in terms of comfort.
The HD 598 certainly doesn’t feel heavy but Sennheiser still positions it as a “home audio” product. Sennheiser sent a pretty clear message by not bundling the headphones with any kind of protective pouch or case. If you do need to travel with the Sennheiser HD 598, do it with care as build quality isn’t exactly one of the headphones’ strengths.
The audio quality is where the HD 598 really hits the home run. Even though it is not exactly the best choice for audiophiles, the Sennheiser HD 598 is capable of producing really good audio without any unnatural frequency boosts. Classical and orchestral music gives out a surprising amount of depth and richness effectively playing out those highs and mids. Move on to more upbeat music and you’ll notice some great low-frequency responses. Natural sound is the core focus of the HD 598 so you may not get that boomy feel when playing dance music but the audio quality of those types of tracks are far better than sub-$200 headphones in all respects. It even handles movies and gaming pretty well.
It is also important to note that the Sennheiser HD 598 takes an open-back approach to the design so audio is projected outward. Crank up the volume and folks around you might get a hint on what you are listening to. The really cool thing is that the sound never distorts even at peak volume. Because there is no noise cancellation, the sound never feels like speakers blasting directly at you. At standard volumes, the music gives that natural indoor environment but with all the extra clarity that easily separates this pair of headphones from the cheaper competition.
• Great all-around sound across a variety of genres.
• No distortion even at the loudest volumes.
• Unique looks.
• Lightweight and mighty comfortable.
• Only $250.
• Not recommended for those looking for extra bass.
• Only best for home use as there is no protection case or pouch included.
• No other styles available for those that may not like the design.
• Included cable is on the basic side.
At this point, Sennheiser doesn’t really have to innovate much because the company really knows how to use their proprietary technologies to come up with great sounding headphones. But the Sennheiser HD 598 still manages to raise the bar with killer looks and a highly comfortable feel for anyone looking to chill at home and listen to hours’ worth of music.